There’s a turning point where it all begins.
Before that turning point, the seeds of change have already been planted. And they are seeds of discontent.
Surprisingly that’s a good thing; because it means that you’ve grown – and that you are ready for more. More aliveness. More creativity. More purpose. It means that you are ready to step more fully into your calling.
The hard part, the scary part, is that it also means you’ve outgrown the work and life you’ve built.
It means that you’ve outgrown the old dream. And the new dream is likely only beginning to emerge – you feel its pull, yet its shape isn’t clear. You’ve entered the period I talk about as the time between-dreams.
Discontent is the path to your turning point.
And it’s not an easy path. Instead, it is often a battle. An internal struggle; between the part of you that desperately wants to hold onto a known security and stability, and a more essential self that’s not willing to live a life of regret.
Along that path, something in you gets stronger.
You find strength in a new clarity about what’s really important. And you discover a fierce commitment to what you’re not willing to compromise. You get gut-clear about the personal price of a work that’s safe but doesn’t make the difference you came here to make (and you know this even if that difference isn’t clear yet.)
It’s often not pretty.
The last time I was getting ready for a turning point with my calling, I did everything in my power to hold onto the old work, a consulting practice. Even though it had already crashed and burned. It was what I knew. And it seemed like the safest way forward.
While I could already feel the pull of something more true, I declared firmly that I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t good timing. Maybe in a few years…
In hindsight, it’s not surprising that my frantic efforts to resuscitate my old work only led to exhaustion. Whether I was ready to admit it or not, it had no more life. I was wasting energy beating a dead horse.
I spent a lot of time on the fence; unsure how to direct my energies. I was caught between my fear and an instinct that it was time for a new work path. As much as I hated it, some part of me was waiting for rescue. I settled into a holding pattern; distracting, and at times numbing, myself.
And then a day came when I couldn’t do it anymore.
Often it takes a health crisis or a relationship implosion, or something else dramatic to push us over the line. But for me, this time, it was just the point where I couldn’t stand the distance from myself.
Something true in me rose up with a gathered strength. And I committed that this disconnection wasn’t the life and the future I wanted.
That is the turning point.
It is the point where we chose our true self, no matter what. It’s the point you commit to make a change, even when you don’t have a clear new place to land.
And it’s the point where action begins.
Recently, writing an article about finding a community for support during times of career reinvention, I proposed that the first step was to “open for support.” Yet by the time I finished the article, I realized I was wrong. That isn’t the first step. There is something critical we need before we can even feel or admit a desire for support.
For me, I had to put myself back in the driver’s seat, and finally take responsibility for the change that was waiting for me.
Unless we are standing in the energy of our readiness, in the energy of our commitment, we’re still in waiting mode. If you’re not at the point where you’re burning for a change, you’ll never take the risk to seek support in getting there.
So the turning point comes before a new direction is clear.
It is not when you’re finally clear and ready to choose the new career or the business you want to start. It’s not a decision for something external at all. The turning point comes with your commitment to move toward a true life and work – even before clarity and without a safe path planned out.
That doesn’t mean you need to leave the job.
Sometimes it can, because your Soul demands it. But more often your commitment is just stepping over an internal line. You are choosing yourself and your aliveness.
And, surprisingly, doing this can breathe new meaning into a job that no long fits: because now, it’s become your “Launchpad.” Rather than a life-sentence, the job is now serving a new purpose – to fund and support your discovery of work that’s a calling.
This is important to acknowledge. Because the part of you that’s afraid often see’s things in black & white – fearing that even acknowledge the need for a change will “rock the boat” and threaten things you’re not ready to change yet.
Commit to discovery.
The action that follows a turning point is an active step toward discovery.
Stepping into my turning point released new energy. I was ready for action in a way I hadn’t been for many months. And that’s when doors open. Not answers, but opportunities for discovery.
For me the door came in the form of a training program that attracted me. It wasn’t a direct line to a new work, but it felt right. Unfortunately, it was also an investment – and our financial resources were at an all-time low after a long period of uncertainty. Still, because it felt right and because I was ready, we found a way.
And that step put things in motion. Not in a way I could have planned. The program provided support and focus that led to insights and new learning, and those opened other doors. Eventually, out of the discovery process came startling clarity – and a new direction caught fire.
It begins with a turning point.
Only you can take the step required for a turning point. Stepping over your internal line – choosing to get out of waiting mode and committing yourself to find a more true work – despite uncertainty, doubt, and fear.
For me getting to the turning point required stopping long enough to face the truth. If you haven’t already, it’s a step you’ll take in your own timing (it is not a matter of force or will); when you are ready.
On the other side of your turning point, you’ll find an immediate sense of relief and motion. Even without evidence of progress, and even if it’s scary.
Commit to yourself and doors will open – doors of support, doors for discovery.
From there only you can recognize the right next steps and the right doors for you to enter. Your quest has begun in earnest – and you’ll be guided to the support and resources you need to navigate the twists and turns along the way.
Most importantly, you’ll be in motion – on the path of your calling.